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My mother died about a year ago. My father is currently living alone but his house is on the market. I'm not too crazy about his real estate agent due to several incidents but my father insists on using him as he is also a neighbor. Recently, my father dropped the price of his house several times each time a large price drop. He has no other savings so his house will be his only income. I think he he's making foolish financial decisions. My sister offered to take him in even if the house didn't sell right away but he doesn't want to leave without selling it. He doesn't discuss any of this with his children. I found out about these price drops by looking online. I think he is loosing significant amounts of money but he doesn't want to be bothered. Can I have him declared incompetent? Any suggestions. He doesn't want to talk about it or gets mad when I try to discuss with him.

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IES - one (OK actually two) easy things to do is to find 2 houses on the market that are comparable to Dad's house in size, description, etc. Then YOU call the Realtor and go to see them. If you can, take photos of the exterior (especially the back yard) and the interior.

Then a few days later when you can digest it all, print the shots out and then on-site compare them to Dad's house. If dad has a favorite grandkid have them show these to dad so that it's not always you a doing judgement calls. Everybody gets a consensus on what the competition is out there.

Also this gives Dad other Realtors to think about listing with after his 6 months with current Realtor is up.

Most of the less than good Realtors are out of the market now as those days of too easy sales & commissions are long gone. But for most of us, we only deal with a Realtor a couple of times in our whole lifetime. If your parents had this house since forever, Dad just doesn't have this experience and can't grasp how selling homes is done in this time of pages of foreclosures in the newspaper and banks requiring so much documentation from the buyer and on the status of the house for sale. My mom's house is going to be a most difficult sale which I will eventually have to deal with (she's in a NH and on Medicaid, so I will have MERP to deal with
should be nothing but fun.....!), it's an odd lot, vintage with NO renovation, in a historic district, foundation issues (watershed zone) so it cannot be sold via FHA or VA which limits to cash or conventional buyers so that is a tiny part of the buying market. It will never get it's tax assessor value. Is what it is.

A good way to to find a Realtor is to ask what their closing rate is like. Not so much how much they sold (a 1 million $ sale skews all that). Imho a higher closing rate and lower DOM (days on market) is a Realtor who knows their market and the reality of buyers within that market. If Dads house just seems like it won't sell, they will also know of investor groups who may buy in Dad's neighborhood. But the amount of the sale will be much lower than selling to a traditional buyer.
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In my experience, I have found a few excellent real estate agents, who are jewels. Most of the real estate agents I've had, however, have been predatory (and I've had over 10 in 20 years). They'll encourage you to be "aggressive" by dropping the price drastically. I don't recommend taking what they say on blind faith. In the end, you have to do your own research and follow your instincts. See what other comparable homes are selling for in his area. Also see how long they take to sell. You might check out Zillow. They give free estimates on what homes prices should be, even for homes that are not on the market.
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I was watching Rizzoli and Isles Tuesday, and they were upset because Mom didn't share her troubles. The screw-up brother said, "It's because you judge." I judge too. It's so hard not to. I would assume that my father was screwing things up. No wonder he didn't let me tell him what to do!

If you want him to tell you things, you need to agree with him about everything you can. When you disagree, you need to use great tact. I know personally how hard it is. Maybe to mend fences, you could apologize for criticizing him, and tell him you know he has tons of experience and is smart. All you want to do is to offer a second opinion. Use experts like a realtor to give him unwelcome news. Let him know you're on his side and trust him - even if you don't quite trust him!

Good luck.
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I'd consult another local realtor, just to get a reality check on the actual market value of the house.
Thought the price may seem low to you, the fact that it still hasn't sold despite multiple price drops may be an indication that the market doesn't match up with what you perceive the value to be. How long has it been on the market? If it is truly priced WAY under market value, it would likely have sold already.
However, that aside, your father may be compromised in his ability to make rational financial decisions and the fact that he doesn't discuss anything with his children could lead him into hot water. You needn't have him declared incompetent (which others have advised, is very difficult), just work at having him let you into the loop with regard to his finances. It can be a struggle (I've been through it), but don't give up. Maybe the house sale is an opportunity or you and your siblings to work at having him trust you with his finances.
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Thanks so much everyone for your suggestions and comments. I understand that my father has an emotional connection to the house as well and this is not an easy decision for him. I understand now that it would be a last resort to declare him mentally incabable. My issue is that he keeps dropping the price of the home significantly without discussing it with his children, or better yet, getting a second opinion or appraisal from another realtor. I understand though that this is his decision and he wants to move on with his life. I appreciate all of your answers.
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First and foremost, does your father have dementia and has a doctor declared that fact? If you do not have a doctor's statement to that fact, then your father is free to make his own decisions regardless of how you feel about it. You do not say how old he is, but he must also be receiving social security as well as having money from the sale of his house, so he probably wants to just be done with the sale, if it has not sold yet. Selling a home can be very stressful. I have sold three. It is in the neighbor realtor's best interest to keep the house's price higher so his commission would be higher, but if your father wants to lower the price then he can. I just closed yesterday on a house where our seller was an 86 yr. old man who is in a nursing home, and he agreed to all our terms, even fixing the items our inspector found just because he wanted to sell the house. His wife had died, they had lived there decades, and I think he just wanted no more responsibility. That could be your father's thinking as well. So stop fighting with his decision, make your own decisions, and let him have the peace he probably wants by selling (at his price).
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Nothing but sympathy here. My father caused some drama that in the end, came to nothing.

Whatever happens, it's "only" money, not life or death.

Good luck!
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I bet Dad is still grieving over mom's death and is depressed. The house may be all wrapped up in his loss as often the house is just so much of what mom was.
I'd bet he want to sell it and move on but then feels bad because it really closes that part of his life with her. She is probably everywhere in the house. 1 year is still really soon for many.

About the real estate situation, you can google his address and what will come up are Zillow and Trulia listing of his house and others in his area. You can kinda scan them to find out DOM's, comps, if price has been reduced, etc.

Also you can go to Realtor sites in his city to see what's up with property.

For some Realtors, they will take the approach that if in within a short period of time, there are only "X" amount of showings, then the price is too high and has to be lowered and a good amount. Then if the slow showings continue, then lower the price again. They want to move it before it gets to a 120 DOM situation - if it's at that point, then he has to lower price again & again till it reaches it's sellable price.Realtor listing are usually for 6 months, so if it doesn't sell by then, I'd suggest her get another Realtor.

If you want to sell the property, it really is a matter of pricing it right. It may be that - Dad was insistent that it was worth 150K although the tax assessor value has it at 135K, so yeah it will have to be reduced to make it competitive. The Realtor doesn't want to fight with him or since he knows him may feel that Dad doesn't want to really sell the house so lets it go at too high of a price and then reduce over time. Or it could be that the house just shows like crap and the only way to sell it is to have a really "motivated" price (low). Now realistically how does the house "show"? Keep in mind that buyers are really expecting granite, rainfall shower heads and all that other stuff that they see on Home & Garden TV and other home improvement shows. So an old house filled with old people clutter in them is not easy to move, especially if in his market there are alot of foreclosures (which usually are new or almost new homes with granite even if it is really cheap and thin granite). If Dad is staying at the house, when people have showings, it will never sell.

I totally agree with Rebecca on guardianship. They is a pretty serious court hearing, and have all sorts of legal reporting and cost to do and often unless they do something with law enforcement consequences their MD is not going to do the paperwork to declare them incompetent. Doc's seem to hate doing competency letters & some just flat won't do them. Being eccentric or being odd or unsocial isn't grounds to do this. Walking around naked with a gun and talking about Commies in the garage, maybe but just maybe. Also on guardianship, you may have to prove your own suitability to be his guardian. So if there is anything in your & your hubby's file - like judgements, or IRS issues, or your teenager has a juveee issue or any major financial issues or sketchy credit report, the judge does NOT have to grant you or other family guardianship of your dad. They can - and often do - appoint a state certified guardian to oversee his care and make the decisions either as a temporary guardian or they can make dad a "ward of the state" if family seems unsuitable.
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I'm not sure what your father's situation is. Like -- why is he selling his house? Does he need the money or is he unable to take care of it and live by himself?

If it is that he needs the money, maybe talk to him about a reverse mortgage. Now if you go that course, be very careful. Reverse mortgages are really helpful instruments for older people in need of money, but they also have some pitfalls you have to be careful of, such as spending down the money you get so much that you can't pay the taxes or insurance. In those cases the reverse mortgage company can take your home, something they don't say in the television advertisement. Do a lot of research online on reverse mortgages and I wouldn't trust anyone that solicits you. Ask around for someone reputable or maybe even check with a group such as AARP if they know of any in your area or state.

If the need for money is not the reason, then maybe check with a realtor you do trust. Ask them to pull comps on your dad's house. That will give you an idea if he is losing money. Plus, the realtor can probably tell you what type market his area has. I know where I used to live and still have friends, in Denver, CO, the market is moving and it is pretty much a sellers' market right now, so no one every drops the price -- quit the opposite. However, where I live in PA, the market sucks. A woman who has a place in the townhouse condominium where I have 2 rentals and she has moved out of town has lowered her asking price 3 times, and they were significant decreases, which hurts it for others like me, who are just waiting for a recovery to get rid of the stupid rentals.

I think I would try to have a parent declared incompetent as a very last resort. It could be expensive if the father or your sister fight it. You didn't state any mental problems with your father except for dropping the price. It may not be that your father is losing it. This may just be his hanging on to some semblance of independence and still making his own judgments and decision. Oh, I would not like to deal with me when I get older. I'm a little of a control freak when it comes to making decisions. Never been married so totally used to always doing what I wanted.

If you can give more info, maybe others on here can help also. But based on what you wrote, that's all the help I can offer now. Good luck.
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